How can the same thing cut so deeply, yet remedy so completely? It’s a paradox really. Although this is what was meant to happen, first to the nation of Isreal, and then to all the rest of us. It was foretold all those years ago, one of many prophecies fulfilled at the coming of the Messiah.
Luke 2:25-35 begins by giving the identity of Jesus and his role in salvation, going on to say , “Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: ‘This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Isreal, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” Wow! What a frightening concept: the thoughts of hearts being revealed?!
Isn’t that who Jesus is as the Messiah? He comes as the Son of God, in perfection, sinless. There is no greater, nor holier, example in the past, present, or future. And because He is so pure and righteous, He brings bright illumination into our contrasting nature. If He were not so good, we would not know we were so bad. He is like a brilliant light shining into all the nooks and crevices of our sinful, selfish hearts.
Without the coming of Jesus, we would not know how perfect love and obedience could actually exist in a sinful world. Without any excuses or mistakes, He showed all of us how life could, and should, be lived. So with His perfect record, it shows how imperfect we are, as the thoughts of our hearts bubble up and spill forth.
It is a constant state of condition where I am always reminded how sinful my heart actually is. The subtle snare of self-deception would be so easy to disguise my shortcomings if not for His life and example. There is always a better way of living, thinking, feeling, responding. His way.
And it makes me want to fall low, as I am increasingly aware of my inabilities to measure up to His standard. I am laid bare. Undone and utterly helpless.
But thanks be to Jesus, revealing my state is not all there is to His life. He is the perfect balance of truth and grace. His truth convicts me and brings me low but His grace lifts me up and completely remedies my state of poverty in righteousness.
So as the thoughts in my heart are continually revealed to myself, and others unfortunately, He has already provided my remedy beyond what I could dare hope. He uses His own perfect love and obedience and applies it as if it were my own. Not only did He live the life I should have lived, He died the death I should have died, and did so in my place.
So as I ponder the glory of Christmas, it is impossible to not naturally meditate on the wonder of the cross. What brings my sin to light is also what fulfills my greatest hope. His name is Jesus, and He is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. There is no other!